York Town Square

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Beveled glass doors capture time of day: Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Pa., Part 17

Rudy Art Studio, a turn-of-the-20th-century York, Pa., business made this glass for the front doors at York’s First Moravian Church, one of many made for the North Duke Street building. Also of interest: All Rudy stained-glass window posts from the start and York native Steve Zirnkilton’s ‘Law & Order’ voice known to the world and York County enthusiasts could find historical event, site to visit every day.

Terrence Downs has provided information on numerous windows at First Moravian Church.
Some have been hidden.
But this month’s selection are far from that.
They’re embedded in the church’s front doors… .

“For there is a wide door for a great work here, and many people are responding. But there are those who oppose me.” Corinthians 16, vs. 9.
A focal point of our facility is the large doors opening to the Duke Street side of the Church are as important an element of aesthetic propriety as were any window installed in the building in 1910. Doors of this type are welcoming and revealing, and capture times of the day with their beveled glass panes. A cooperative effort through the inspiration of J. A. Dempwolf the designer, John Horace Rudy the artist, and transmitting light from within the First Church facility brought York First Moravian into the 20th Century in high style of this heavy paneled and paned doorway unit.
Those of us who pass these doors each week when ascending to the Sanctuary see these leafs as a way to check out what’s going on outside, but in fact these depart from the original doors of 1868, which were solid paneled wood. Enclaved under the roof of the front portico, these doors provide interior light in daytime and at night illumine the outer darkness with the icon of our Moravian Church – the 26 point Star. Faceted by bevels, this light emits an aura of light within our building. The installation of the star in recent years has brought a sense of pride to all who enter our grand Church through this portal. A rich treat is in afternoon when West sunlight fans the doorway and the narthex is bedazzled by many prismatic rainbows. This treatment was used in many fine homes and businesses in York’s Golden Era of art and architecture.
A very funny anecdote but possibly meeting with grave result occurred nearly 45 years ago when across North Duke Street at number 48 was the Faith Presbyterian Church (also a design refuted as Edward Havilland alike the First Church structure), a smaller brick structure with doors opening onto Duke Street at the sidewalk. Replacements of the Faith Presbyterian double doors had been ordered, and workmen complete with new modern doors and tools arrived to do the job. However their paperwork was not legible to the property number of the North Duke Street church building, and with requisition in hand, the men rang the parsonage building of York First Moravian to install Faith Presbyterian’s new doors here.
Eugene and Wilhelmina Cook served as sextons of York First Moravian at this time, the workmen notifying Mrs. Cook to the job at hand, already had removed the new doors from their work vehicle and had even started removing the hinge pins of the large glass & oak doors affront First Moravian. However the workers were puzzled by the discrepancy in size of their new doors to the larger existing First Moravian doors. Mrs. Cook, not aware of such work being acted on insisted they contact their office to inquire, and in fact were alerted that they were across the street from their actual job location! Had Mrs. Cook not been on site to intercept the workmen, we may not have the beauty these doors of beauty give us today!

Also of interest:
Window in memorial to Beauchamp H. Smith: Beautiful First Moravian Church in York, Part 10.
Window in memorial to S. Morgan Smith, Part 5.
First Moravian’s website.
All York Town Square posts from the start. (Key word search by using “find” on browser.) Or search Google. For example: search yorktownsquare and first moravian and you get this.